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Soft art


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Term applied to sculpture using non-rigid materials, a vogue of the 1960s and 1970s. The materials employed have been very diverse: rope, cloth, rubber, leather, paper, canvas, vinyl—anything in fact that offers a certain persistence of form but lacks permanent shape or rigidity. The earliest example of Soft art was perhaps the typewriter cover that Marcel Duchamp mounted on a stand and exhibited in 1916. However, this belongs rather to the category of ready-mades, and Soft art as a movement is generally traced to Claes Oldenburg's giant replicas of foodstuffs (ice-cream sundaes, hamburgers, pieces of cake, etc.) made from stuffed vinyl and canvas. Other artists who have experimented with soft materials have been many and diverse, representing a variety of movements, including Arte Povera, Pop art, and Surrealism.

Subjects: Art.


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